If you’re searching for an alternative to Google, where should you turn? Most of us have had our doubts about the world’s biggest search engine recently, but switching to another option isn’t as easy as it should be. Numerous competitors are contending for our attention, but are any of them up to the task?

One of those contenders is DeSearch – a private search engine which places privacy ahead of sheer convenience. But this isn’t any old search engine. Designed with cryptocurrency fans in mind, it has been engineered to be a decentralized Google alternative.

So what does that mean in practice? Let’s find out more about DeSearch and it’s parent organization BitClave, to see whether this is the right search for you.

What is DeSearch?

The name DeSearch stands for “Decentralized Search” – which neatly describes the idea behind this next generation search provider.

According to the makers BitClave, DeSearch does away with the centralized, data-hungry Google model. And it also improves upon the marketplace created by Google. Instead of delivering poorly matched adverts derived from inadequately analyzed data, BitClave has created a blockchain-based alternative which – in their words – “allows businesses and ecosystem partners to effectively target potential customers and allow end users to receive better-matched offers.”

So this isn’t exactly a radical venture. But the actual DeSearch console is potentially revolutionary, at least for cryptocurrency fans.

What does this search engine deliver for cryptocurrency followers?

The reasoning behind BitClave’s focus is simple. In 2018, it emerged that Google had started to ban cryptocurrency adverts. This prevented the developers of new currencies, wallets, trading platforms, and even cryptocurrency news sites from promoting their products.

This move resulted in scorn from crypto experts, as well as semi-panic from investors. The ban was slightly eased in late 2018, but the damage was done. Across the world, investors lost trust in Google to transmit information about cryptocurrencies, and organizations like BitClave stepped into the breach.

Checking out the key DeSearch features

On the face of it, DeSearch is nothing exceptional. It has a clear, easy to use front-end with a search field and – nothing else. There are no ads of any kind (yet), and you can search for anything you like. Results are delivered in a pretty basic format, with the link and descriptions, and they seem to be relevant to the queries users submit.

Underneath the main search field, users can also click on links to popular cryptocurrencies, instantly bringing up information about their value, as well as recommended wallets and places to trade. So you can call up a BitClave price as and when you need it – all handy info for investors.

However, what’s actually going on here under the hood? Are there any nasty privacy-related surprises that users need to know about.

Is DeSearch safe? Assessing the privacy policy

When you click through to the DeSearch privacy policy, some things immediately leap out. While the search engine is being promoted as decentralized and dissimilar to Google, its information gathering potential is pretty large.

For instance, BitClave logs information about the browser you use, your IP address, access times, which app you are using, “pages viewed” and where you came from, as well as device and location information. The company uses both cookies and pixels to gather data as well – just like Google.

So we’re not talking about a privacy-obsessed champion of user rights. DeSearch is a money-making venture which seeks to use information more efficiently than Google. And that has nothing to do with protecting your identity.

How does DeSearch work?

The way BitClave has designed DeSearch is very interesting. As we detailed earlier, the search system has been engineered in a “decentralized” format, with user data (the stuff listed above), held in dispersed format – not on central servers.

This information is stored in a blockchain format called BitClave Active Search Ecosystem (BASE). The idea is that users can govern how that data is used, and benefit from its marketization. However, the precise nature of these benefits isn’t that clear.

Despite a lot of technical jargon on the BitClave website, the system most closely resembles retail loyalty schemes, where you accumulate points for making transactions. In theory, as you buy more, the offers you receive will become more focused, encouraging more purchases. Which is neat – but not world-changing for many people.

At this stage, it’s important to note that these benefits are available only to users with a BitClave account. To sign up, just use the link in the top right corner of the DeSearch front page.

More about the creators: A quick BitClave review

While this article is mainly about DeSearch, you can’t really understand what the search engine does without knowing more about its creators, so a brief BitClave review might help out.

Based in San Jose, California, BitClave was founded by Alex Bessonov (once of LG Electronics) in 2017, so it’s a fairly new entrant into the search engine arena.

Since then, it has participated in one of the largest Initial Coin Offerings ever scheduled, raising some $25 million to get its decentralized search operations up and running.

However, the idea hasn’t yet caught on with consumers (possibly due to the crypto-crash of 2018), and the BitClave price quoted by CoinGecko remains relatively low. The potential is there to create something more efficient than Google, but questions remain about whether users will embrace the BitClave model, and actually make DeSearch a daily part of their web routing.

Moving back to DeSearch: Will it work as a Google alternative?

Now we’ve been introduced to BitClave and DeSearch, we might be able to answer our initial question: will this search engine work for people who want to switch from Google?

If you are mainly motivated by privacy, possibly not. DeSearch relies on a similarly data-hungry model as Google, even if it uses the data in a more decentralized way, with user consent at the heart of the system.

But if you want to be linked with adverts more efficiently, perhaps there’s a role for this search engine. But the verdict of this DeSearch BitClave review? Wait and see. This could be a case of hype over substance, or just another tech corporation seeking to turn your searches into profit.